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The Black Male and the United States Economy
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
posted on 01.01.1999by Susan Williams McElroy, Leon T. Andrews, Jr.
This paper examines the current status of black males in the United States
economy and emphasizes several positive aspects of the changing status of black
males over time. While we acknowledge that the social and economic conditions
of black males in the United States are troubling in many respects, our objective is
to highlight the progress and achievements of black males. Most research on
black males focuses solely on the problems and rarely highlights the successes
and accomplishments. However, little attention has been paid to the
achievements in education, the professional successes, and the positive
community and family involvement of black males in the United States.
We consider black male accomplishments in three separate but related
contexts. First, a significant number of black males have received a bachelor’s
degree or postgraduate degree in recent decades. Second, black males have made
inroads to professional occupations in increasing numbers. Finally, a significant
number of black males are supporting themselves and their families. Although
many barriers make it difficult for black males to take advantage of economic
opportunities in this country, there are still a number of black males who are
taking the steps necessary to achieve economic success. As authors of this paper,
we do not wish to diminish the efforts of scholars and journalists who examine the
problems of black males. Rather, this paper focuses on the enormous progress
black males have made in the U.S. economy and their many outstanding
achievements. Similarly, by writing about black males, we do not mean to
suggest that black females have not also made significant gains in and
contributions to the U.S. economy. But our objective here is to call attention to
and document some of the contributions black males have made and continue to
make to the economy.